- Excerpts from the Interior Journal
Edited By Will. C. Curd
Somerset, Ky., Dec. 27, 1873
On Saturday night the 13th inst., while James L. Colyer was returning to his
home in the upper part of our county, from Mount Vernon, was attacked by four
men in disguise coming from the bushes on the side of the public road with
drawn weapons, who stopped his horse and first demanded his arms, Colyer,
although a brave man, seeing that he was overpowered gave up his pistol which
was returned to him after the robbers had drawn the loads; they then demanded
his money which hthey got, amounting to the sum of $100, and also his watch,
which they examined and threw against a tree, it being of small value.
Mr. Colyer has been for some time past a deputy Sheriff of our county, is a
clever gentleman and makes a clever and vigilant officer.
- James was born about 1858 in Pulaski County, Kentucky. The son of St. Clair & Elizabeth (Morgan) Colyer.
In the 1860, 1870, & 1880 Census of Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky James lives at home with his parents. In 1870, at the age of 12 James is listed as woking on the farm. In the 1880 Census James, along with his 2 older brothers, John W. & Jehu R., are all listed as school teachers.
On December 15, 1887 in Pulaski County James married Fannie L. Owens.
In 1892 James was elected Mayor of Somerset. He served as Mayor for the years of 1892, 1893, & 1894. He apparently completed the former Mayor's term which began in 1890. The former mayor, Barney Higgins was arrested for rape and later killed.
In the 1900 Census James-40 is living with his wife Fanny-37 and children Varnum-13, Mabel-8, Virginia-5 & Martha-4 in Bourbon, Pulaski County, Kentucky. James is listed as a Lawyer and Fanny is listed as having had 4 children by 1900, all 4 in home.
Apparently there was a family tragedy between 1900 & 1910. In the 1910 Census of Bourbon, Pulaski County, Kentucky Mabel & Virginia are living with their Grandmother Eliza Owens. James & Varnon I cannot find in the Census of 1910, nor Fannie.
In 1920 James can be found in the Census of Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky. He is living on Monticello Street with his daughter, Virginia, and her husband, Clifford Jasper. James is listed as a widower and his occupation is Lawyer in General Practice.
In 1930 James can be found in the Census of Pulaski County, Kentucky, on Shafter Road. Living with his daughter Mabel, and her husband, Claude Jasper. James is listed as a 73 year old widower with no occupation.
Varnum is actually Varnon Thomas, he registered for the WW1 draft in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, listed as a Farmer/Sheep Grower, born October 28, 1888, he eventually came back to Pulaski County, Varrnon died on January 25, 1952 in Pulaski County